Another enticing tidbit from Chrysalis - Fire and Rain

Hall of Elders
Odessa appeared in front of the large sycamore tree with a troubled mind and a heavy heart. She was here to make her report to the Elders, and she worried how they would take the news, even though in the back of her mind she knew they were already aware. But it was a requirement of the Guardian of any Chosen One to give detailed reports on their charge—and Aubrey was still her charge.
The dragons had come back into existence, which was something she thought would never happen. She was taught by the Guardians that came before her that the ancient text used to perform the ritual that blended a demon to a magical’s soul had been destroyed long, long ago. Yet she had seen the proof firsthand of the dragons’ existence, and she truly feared for Aubrey’s safety, not to mention the safety of the realms.
She was about to raise her hand to touch the tree to open the portal, when she sensed another’s arrival. She turned, folded her hands in front of her, and stood, in what she hoped was a calm, relaxed manner. A second later, Robert, another Guardian and a very dear and special friend to her, walked out of nothingness and greeted her.
“Des, I knew I’d find you here.”
She felt her shoulders relax at the sound of his baritone voice.
“Robert, what are you doing here?” she asked, although she was happy that he’d come.
“Did you think I would let you do this by yourself?”
“It is my responsibility to report on my failings.”
“Des,” he said as he walked up to her and took her hands in his. “You were given the hardest task of the Guardians—to mentor, and teach the last Chosen One—to guide without instructing. You have not failed.”
“The dragons—”
“I know. We were all led to believe the text was destroyed. But your charge has shown resilience, and that is due to your guidance. You allowed her to think on her own.”
“I almost lost her, Robert.” She looked away from his piercing green eyes. “Esmeralda—”
“Esmeralda be damned. She should have gone the way of the Witches of the Black Cape a long time ago.” He gently squeezed her hands so she would look at him, and when she did, he smiled. “You didn’t lose Aubrey. The Elders will see that, and if they don’t…well, I’m here to make sure that they do.” He pulled her to him for a reassuring hug, then turned her around, and with his hands on her shoulders, he said in an encouraging tone, “Let’s go in and give your report.”
She drew a deep breath and slowly exhaled her tension, then raised her hand to the tree and the portal opened. As they descended the staircase that led deep underground, Robert hummed along with the soft melody coming from the stone speakers that were receded into the wall. His humming caused her to smile.
As they entered the room at the bottom of the stairs, the low light from the luminous mushrooms that protruded from the walls brightened, allowing them to see the small changes to the room since their last visit.
“Seems they have been busy redecorating,” he said as he stood close to one of the carvings of the forest creatures that were carved into the walls. “Look, the eyes glow now.”
Their wait was a little longer than the last time they were here, but finally, the dirt crumbled away from the carved image of a fox, and out stepped a very beautiful young woman. Her rust-colored hair was long and thick, the ends looking as if they’d been dipped in chocolate. Her eyeshadow was a sharp shade of green that accentuated her deep brown eyes, and she wore the softest shade of pink on her thin lips. Her movements were smooth, and her voice was remarkably soft as she said, “Guardians, I’m sorry you had to wait. The Elders have gathered, follow me please.”
As she walked toward the back wall, the dirt crumbled away giving them access to another large room where twelve large eagles sat at a long table. The woman stepped back, allowing Odessa and Robert to enter, and after Robert passed the threshold, she stepped outside the room and the dirt wall reappeared.
Robert gave Odessa’s hand a light squeeze, and when she looked at him, he winked and left her side to sit in one of the chairs along the sidewall. Stoically, Odessa took her place at the podium, and the birds of prey morphed into the bodily forms of the Elders. Each Elder wore a shimmering golden robe and a golden-bejeweled crown.
“It’s a pleasure to speak before you again,” Odessa said. “I’ve come to tell you of the progress Aubrey has made. Last month was a distressing month—”
“Distressing?” one of the Elders interrupted.
“Yes, my lord. The dragons have come back into existence. David Larson, Esmeralda’s love from a lifetime ago found the ancient text—he was the willing soul that blended with the demon Esmeralda harbored, creating the dragon. Others have followed his example. It was with his help that Esmeralda kidnapped Aubrey. I do not think Esmeralda would have been as bold had David not been by her side. She is now viewed as the queen among the dragons as David is their king.”
“I see. And is Aubrey still kidnapped?” the Elder asked.
Odessa narrowed her eyes as she looked confusedly at the Elder. She had been certain they were aware of the happenings in the lives of all the Chosen Ones. “No, my lord. She was rescued, but William, Aubrey’s cousin in family name and one of her special seven, was critically wounded during her rescue.
“Ah…I see. Did he survive?”
Odessa cocked her head in questioning whether she had been wrong in her belief the Elders were aware of all that had happened. “They had to turn him,” she tentatively said. “But that too went horribly wrong. He almost died, but Aubrey stepped in and saved him. He’s home now.”
“So he survived then,” the Elder said smiling.
“They did have to turn him—he’s a vampire now—so I guess in a manner of speaking, yes, he survived.”
“Then why do you stand before us and state that last month was distressing?” asked the Elder.
She glanced down at her hands, realizing the tight grip she held them in, and in frustration, she sighed. “The dragons and the dangers they pose are quite distressing, would you not agree? Aubrey has yet to cross, and she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. I fear for her, my lord.”
“Odessa,” the Elder said in a soothing tone. “Why do you lament so? Surely not all was gloom and doom.”
“No,” she said and released the tensed grip she held on her hands. “There was good that came of last month. Aubrey brought happiness to another couple, and she has found another of her special men—Gary. If you recall I reported last visit that she had saved his life when he was grievously wounded during the rescue of Richard and Thomas. And she uncovered the traitor in her clan—Madalyn—she was mated to Bradley. Aubrey discovered Madalyn was Esmeralda’s mole as it were. The clan cast Madalyn out, but unfortunately, she too harbors a demon in her soul now. But Tina and Ted, whom everyone thought were the traitors, turned out to be allies. Aubrey, as it turns out, can perform magic inside the castle and council walls.” She laughed softly. “That even surprised me. Why didn’t you tell me that she would be able to do magic inside those two buildings?”
The Elders looked at one another and smiled knowingly, then the Elder at the head of the table said, “If you’d known of her gift, would you have schooled her as well? Your fear for her gave her encouragement to believe in herself and to grow. She is forging forward, and she is following her path. And when you say, ‘she can’t’ she will tell you and show you that she can. You have made her determined to right the wrongs, to restore what others have unsettled. Had you not had your own fear, Aubrey would have nothing to prove. She would not have taken the demon that sat on Esmeralda’s mantel, the one slated for Esmeralda’s follower, Rebecca—and destroy it in the lava.”
Odessa’s eyes widened. “My lord, so you are aware of these events.”
“Well of course we are, but we cannot give counsel to our Chosen One. That comes from you. We need to know your thoughts on her growth—we can only watch.”
Odessa grinned. “So, we Guardians are your sounding boards?”
“As Aubrey is tested, you will be her sounding board, too. Let her grow and learn…let her ‘skin her knees’ as the humans like to say. Be there to give her comfort in her sorrows, for she has many trials yet to face. Be there to rejoice in her triumphs, as there are many that await.”
Odessa acknowledged their instructions with a bow of her head, and the Elders morphed back into the birds of prey and disappeared.


Trepidation Reviews:

Book Reader's Heaven says: Into Fantasy? You may have missed this in the past...but I highly recommend you take a look at this series. I especially enjoyed this third book. It was a lot of fun watching the chosen one finally take a stand against everybody, including all of her male protectors and guards! And when her other sister chosen ones come into the act, it sets the time for both male and females to fight the battles that must be fought! ... I'm already wondering what is going to happen next! (read more)

The Awakening Reviews:

RebeccasReads says: "Chrysalis - The Awakening by M.L. Lacy is one of the best novels I have read in quite a while"...(read more)

Quill says: "Fantasy lovers who enjoy stories that offer depth, intrigue, and adventures that move between our world and an imaginative magical world, should check out this series"...(read more)

Bookreviewers says: "If you love fantasy, then you will indeed enjoy Chrysalis - The Awakening by M.L. Lacy"...(read more)

ReaderViews says: "M.L. Lacy has written a powerful fantasy novel with Chrysalis - The Awakening"...(read more)